Robert Leighton Morning Prayer, Friday 26th June 2020

Robert Leighton, born in 1611, the son of a puritanical physician, studied at Edinburgh and on the continent, where he was influenced by the piety and tolerance of the French Jansenists. In 1641 he became minister of Newbattle, but was highly critical of the Covenanting policy of those days. In 1652 he was sent to negotiate with Cromwell the release of Scots prisoners taken at the battle of Worcester, and Cromwell’s influence caused him to be appointed in the following year as Principal of Edinburgh University, where he exercised a remarkable influence. At the Restoration he accepted the bishopric of Dunblane, the least remunerative, in the hope that he might use that office for the healing of the schisms within the Scottish Church. ‘My sole object has been to procure peace and to advance the interests of true religion.’ His plans for an accommodation with the Presbyterians led to his appointment as Archbishop of Glasgow in 1670. After four years he resigned the archbishopric following the failure of his efforts at reconciliation. He retired to the south of England, where he died in 1684.

Kershaw, Simon. Exciting Holiness: Collects and Readings for the Festivals and Lesser Festivals of the Calendars of the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales . Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Holy One, open our lips:
and we shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.

Variable Psalms

Fridays: FROM Psalm 146, Lauda, anima mea 

Hal-lelujah!  Praise the Lord, O my soul! *
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
For their hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps promises for ever;

who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
food to those who hunger and sets the prisoners free.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind! *
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down and loves the righteous.

The Lord cares for the stranger *
and sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Hallelujah! 

CLOSING Isaiah 40

The Lord is the everlasting God,*
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
who does not faint nor grow weary,*
whose understanding is unsearchable,
who gives power to the faint,*
increase of strength to those who have no might.
Even youth shall faint and be weary;*
the young shall fall exhausted.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;* they shall mount up with wings like eagles.
They shall run and not be weary,*
they shall walk and not faint.

READING: 1 Samuel 9:1–14

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, ‘Take one of the boys with you; go and look for the donkeys.’ He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the boy who was with him, ‘Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us.’ But he said to him, ‘There is a man of God in this town; he is a man held in honour. Whatever he says always comes true. Let us go there now; perhaps he will tell us about the journey on which we have set out.’ Then Saul replied to the boy, ‘But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What have we?’ The boy answered Saul again, ‘Here, I have with me a quarter-shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way.’ (Formerly in Israel, anyone who went to inquire of God would say, ‘Come, let us go to the seer’; for the one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.) Saul said to the boy, ‘Good; come, let us go.’ So they went to the town where the man of God was.

As they went up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, ‘Is the seer here?’ They answered, ‘Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him, before he goes up to the shrine to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterwards those eat who are invited. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.’ So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out towards them on his way up to the shrine.



We have not put the voice of the voiceless first.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

We have colluded with the structures of greed.
Christ, have mercy upon us.

We have put money first, loving it too much.
Lord, have mercy upon us.


God our Father, you gather us into the communion of your Church:
give us life by your love.

God our Father, you never take back your call and your gifts:
give us life by your love.

Son of the living God, your faithfulness enables us to remain always faithful to you:
give us life by your love.

Son of the living God, you are familiar with our trials and our poverty:
give us life by your love.

Holy Spirit, in our lives you stimulate a desire for peace and justice:
give us life by your love.

Holy Spirit, your road leads us towards all who suffer in our society:
give them life by your love.

Holy Spirit, you have placed gifts in our hearts to make us creators of communion:
give us life by your love.

Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.


Fridays: Christ Jesus, enable us to forge a steadfast heart to remain faithful to you. Risen Lord, you send upon us the light of your forgiveness. That is the perfect gift. And for each person, to dare to forgive awakens God’s joy in us. Amen. 

Almighty God, by your grace alone we are accepted and called to your

Almighty God, the light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, who set your servant Robert to be an archbishop in the Church, to feed your sheep by the word of Christ and to guide them by good example: give us grace to keep the faith of the Church and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

God most holy, we give you thanks for bringing us out of the shadow of night into the light of morning; and we ask you for the joy of spending this day in your service, so that when evening comes, we may once more give you thanks, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil; and bring us to life eternal. Amen.

A priest and poet in the Scottish Episcopal Church, exploring the workings of the Holy Spirit in Banchory .